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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 28, 2012 9:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Woodstock Saint Stephen cut or did they really just bail out?

What really surprises me is that the Dead were not even going to be in the film or soundtrack - yet here we seem to have two separate edits which both snip out the second verse.
Either there was some serious problem with that verse, or the Woodstock editors had a lot of time on their hands, or something...but someone went to a lot of trouble to hide that verse!

Speaking of aborted songs, I think the Eleven is the winner. I can't think of how many times the Eleven got aborted in '68-69, but it was quite a few times - that song seemed to give them more trouble than any other.
Actually, come to think of it, High Time also got aborted a a few times. At Woodstock they abort it after a false start, then come back to it later - but there are other times in '69/70 when they start the intro & then just give up. Would have to look up the dates...

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Poster: Arck Date: Apr 28, 2012 7:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Woodstock Saint Stephen cut or did they really just bail out?

Tell, thank you for your kind words. I don't post much on here but have lurked for a long time and shall continue to lurk. Occasionally when I have something I consider worth posting, I do, but my knowledge of the Dead can't compete with the wise ones on here such as you two. Probably to be expected from a 28 year old Australian who stumbled onto the Dead unassisted.

Anyway, back to Woostock. I agree - it's not a very inspiring show. That being said, the Dark Star isn't bad at all. It's just not very interesting. The Lovelight is valiant but drags. On the other hand, it's quite amazing having the footage at all. Is there any other film or video from 1969? There's surely no footage with multi-track audio anyway.

Perhaps Bill Graham's archives has a video from one of the year's Fillmore East runs. I know I've seen some of the CCTV footage of Feb '70 before...somewhere.

LiA, as far as your speculation about the reasons for the edit goes, do we know for sure the band was never going to be in the film? Was it like Monterey where they thought the deal looked dodgy and refused...or was Woodstock a case of a lot of performers being filmed, with or without permission, then being approached for deals?

Either way, it's amazing to have remastered footage of Mama Tried and Lovelight, with a multi-track surround mix, as well as a good multi-track mix of the Dark Star.

As far as aborting songs go, The Eleven seems like the most difficult thing they played in this period so I don't blame them for having some troubles with it. As for High Time, I'm yet to hear a '69 or '70 version of it that I think comes close to the studio recording (and didn't Garcia say in an interview he didn't rate his singing on the studio recording anyway?) so maybe they started it a few times and just thought it was weak so gave up.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 28, 2012 11:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Woodstock Saint Stephen cut or did they really just bail out?

According to McNally, the Dead were asked to sign the movie release before the show, and refused. They didn't change their minds afterwards...

So I'm not sure what the motive of mixing & editing the Dead's performance would've been, but someone did it at some point. Maybe they were hoping the Dead would relent & allow something to be included.
I guess as a long-term strategy, it worked - after 40 years, the Dead finally gave permission!

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Apr 28, 2012 7:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Woodstock Saint Stephen cut or did they really just bail out?

I'll echo WT -- really interesting! I'm not particularly knowledgeable, but now I've watched those clips and I'm a little more knowledgeable, anyway.

I don't know video or audio, but the second cut seems really clear (and jarring). That kind of thing can happen on my video camera if I turn it off -- of course, different time and technology, but my off-the-cuff, uninformed reaction is that it makes me think of a power cut that someone edited around later.

I may be projecting here, but they actually look scared to me. I think Phil says in his book that he looked over at Jerry and Jerry looked scared, and it was the only time he'd ever seen Jerry look that way on stage. So maybe I'm just projecting from remembering that -- but Bobby on Mama Tried seems wobbly as anything, like he wants to be anywhere but where he is.

I guess the insanely long Lovelight was a case of, "Oh geez please let Pig take over."

The link:

http://archive.org/details/gd1969-08-16.sbd.gmb.95857.flac24

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 29, 2012 12:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Woodstock Saint Stephen cut or did they really just bail out?

They're not all smiles, that's for sure.

Phil: "I look over at Jerry; for the first time ever, I see fear in his eyes."
McNally: "Hart looked over at Garcia as they were about to begin, and saw fear in his eyes. Mickey thought to himself, 'Oh man, we're in trouble.'"

Phil & Frankie Weir both attest that Weir got shocked by a big blue spark from his mike when he started singing, knocking him on his ass. So it's no wonder Weir looks wobbly.
Phil described the "blue balls of lightning scurrying across the stage."

Garcia: "We were just plumb atrocious... We were on a metal stage and it was raining...and I saw blue balls of electricity bouncing across the stage and leaping onto my guitar when I touched the strings... People behind the amplifiers kept yelling, 'The stage is collapsing!'... Our performance onstage was musically a total disaster that is best left forgotten."

Tom Constanten: "I was the only one in the band that had a good time... The guitarists were getting shocked from their strings. Bob described his strings as being like barbed wire. The electricity wasn't grounded... The stage was swaying back and forth. Phil was visualizing the headlines the next day: 'Huge Rock and Roll Disaster - Thousands Maimed.'"

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2012-04-29 07:09:51

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Apr 29, 2012 1:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Woodstock Saint Stephen cut or did they really just bail out?

Did any camera at Woodstock catch those blue lightning/electrical balls? You'd think any photog would instantly think of headlines, too ... and want to get it on film. If something newsworthy happened, signing or not wouldn't make a difference -- there's no assumption of privacy/right to control your image at that point.

Of course, it could have happened too quickly, with cameras off or aiming the wrong way. And the lightning balls could have been rather more visible in another dimension than on film.

Could the part where Bob was knocked down by the spark be the missing part of St Stephen? And perhaps related to power zapping off? (Would that have effected cameras?) It certainly doesn't seem to be the start of Mama Tried, where as you've noted, Bob and Phil are both in the same position as the end of St Stephen.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 29, 2012 2:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Woodstock Saint Stephen cut or did they really just bail out?

"Could the part where Bob was knocked down by the spark be the missing part of St Stephen?"

That occurred to me too... No way to be sure, though. Could've been a power outage, too...
I don't think there's a proper multi-camera video of St Stephen available, just the one camera which mostly stays on Jerry. I notice in the second verse he's looking over Bob's way.
Must've been brave of Weir to sing Mama Tried after that. Wouldn't you know, the film editors would polish up Mama Tried, and leave hidden the song we REALLY want to see!

I do suspect those blue balls of electricity were more visible in a certain altered state of mind... The Dead were apparently far more aware of things going wrong than the audience/camera crew!
Usually Dead audiences were quite attentive to things like lightning-bolts onstage, etc... This wasn't a normal Dead audience, though; and perhaps they could barely see the band anyway in the dark!